History-Memory-Folklore

 REPORT OF LT. COL. JAMES F. MCCURDY,
Seventh Regiment Indiana Legion.




New Albany, July 22, 1863.


Adjt. Gen. Laz. Noble:

General :—In compliance with instruction from you, I have the honor to report the part taken by the men under my command during the “Morgan raid” in this section of the State. On Wednesday, the 8th day of July, 1863, information reached us that Morgan was crossing (with a considerable force of mounted men) the Ohio river, at Mauckport. On the receipt of this intelligence, an immediate call was made for men—the Legion, being completely disorganized, could not be made effective. At this time Col. E. A. Maginness was in command. Very little progress was made towards organization during the day. On Wednesday evening Col. Maginness turned over the command to me. On Thursday morning I received an order from Gen. Boyle, Louisville, Ky., to make an immediate enrollment of the militia.

I understood this order to mean a forcible enrollment, it seeming the only mode of procedure by which any important result could be accomplished.

Thursday, at 2 P. M., more men were enrolled and formed into companies than could be furnished with arms.

I started with the armed men to Edwardsville, to co-operate with some Regular Volunteer Infantry, and one section of a Battery, that had preceded us to that point.

The enemy was supposed, at that time, to be advancing on the Corydon road to New Albany, having already compelled the surrender of Corydon. Our forces at Edwardsville being too small to assume offensive movements, we chose a strong natural position, hoping to hold Morgan’s forces in check until reinforcements reached us—thus giving the Federal forces in his rear, an opportunity to close up on his rear. We threw out pickets, and sent out mounted scouts, holding ourselves in readiness for any alarm. Early on the morning of the 10th, the scouts brought in information that the enemy had left Corydon, and were moving in the direction of Palmyra. My command was immediately ordered back to New Albany, on a forced march. We passed through New Albany without halting, and took position on the Greenville road. We remained in this position until Saturday morning, our numbers increasing, by those who obtained arms after we first left the city—a supply having arrived sufficient to arm companies that could not be furnished at first.

Saturday morning, about 10 o’clock, we were ordered to move up on the road leading to Jeffersonville, leaving a strong picket on the Greenville road. We were stationed on the Jeffersonville road about two hours when we were ordered to change to the Charlestown road, as that appeared to be the most exposed point. Pickets and mounted scouts were thrown out from this point broadcast through the surrounding country. We remained camped at this point until Tuesday evening, when the command was ordered to the city and dismissed.

We were in camp six days and five nights. The number of men under my command was about eight hundred (800) not including some three hundred (300) men from Crawford county—Home Guards that reported to me for duty, and joined my camp on Saturday.

I may add that Capts. Knapp’s and Snider’s batteries were prevented from going with me on the first day—they having no ammunition for their guns.

Snider’s battery was with me after the first day. Capt. Knapp with his battery was ordered to Jeffersonville to join Col. Wiley’s Regiment. One company of Infantry, from this city, under Capt. Johnson, also joined Col. Willey’s command.

I desire to make mention of the hearty assistance of both line and field officers. Major Naghel, acting Lieut. Col., and Capt. Brown, acting Major, were active and vigilant, and by their very attentive cooperation, greatly assisted me in all the duties of the march and camp. During the time we were out, we made several arrests of suspicious persons, handing them over to the Post Commander.

In conclusion, I would add, that orders came to me from quite a number of military men, and it was at times difficult to tell who had command of the troops. I endeavored to do all that could be done, never myself raising any question about who had the proper authority, generally acting on the last order received.

Respectfully,


 

JAMES F. McCURDY,
Lieut. Col. Comd’g 7th Reg.